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Old 05-01-2014, 07:28 PM   #1
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is weight distribution hitch needed?

I've just purchased a 2014 JayFeather X17Z . my tow rig is a 2003 4runner V6 4x4. 5k tow capacity. 17z loaded is 3500 #'s.tongue wt. is 342#. my question is do i need a weight dist. hitch and sway set up? i've been researching it with hitch stores and it's been 65% / 35% that i don't need the set up. i would like to hear from the forum. thanks in advance for your feedback.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:53 PM   #2
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My vote is yes.

I towed a 4500 lb trailer with a dodge 2500 and could tell the difference. It may have not needed it, but safety for my passengers was the motive.

The WDH leveled out the entire rig, ft bumper of truck, to rear bumper of trailer. Better control, ride and stability over rough roads

My.02
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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I also think your tow capacity has to factor in other cargo and passengers in the 4runner
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:01 PM   #4
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Not familiar with your truck, so can't say for sure, but I'd say you're better off with than without the WDH (and sway control). I paid $600 for the Equal-i-zer hitch installed at a local dealership here, and I'd say it was money well spent.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:22 PM   #5
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Welcome to JOF

Your correct that do to the limited CCC of the X17Z your actual loaded weight will be at 3,500lbs, which is also it's GVWR. The 342lbs is the published Dry tongue weight, the actual manufacture's recommended "loaded" tongue weight will be 10% to 15% of 3,500lb loaded weight (350lbs to 525lbs) depending on your loading habits.

Check your TV's OEM receiver hitch for a Weight Carrying mode and Weight Distribution mode limits. If your X17Z's loaded tongue weight is under your receiver's Weight Carrying mode limit you don't need a WDH, above you do.

Also check your TV's owners manual for any weight distribution or tongue weight limitations.

IMO you would benefit from using a WDH even if it's not required because it will enhance the handling of your TV...., but a sway control device should be utilized with or without a WDH.

Hope this helps.

Bob
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:14 AM   #6
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SUVs have soft suspensions to enhance ride quality because the majority of the buyers are not getting them to do real work. People want trucks, but they don't want them to ride like trucks. Even if your hitch is rated to handle the dead weight of the tongue, you'll almost certainly take too much weight off of your front end. Use a WD hitch.

We used to have an '03 Jayco Kiwi 17a, ancestor to your X17Z and same GVWR. Even with my '95 Suburban (mechanically its a 1/2 ton truck) I needed the WD hitch. I especially needed it with my old Trailblazer.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:39 AM   #7
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The CAT scale is your friend. Load up the TT and TV and make your 3 passes, a little pencil (or spreadsheet) work and you will KNOW how you are loaded. I would expect you would benefit from a WDH and sway control. I bought an "e2" hitch to pull our X23B with and it worked nicely.
One more time, CAT good, guessing Bad.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:54 AM   #8
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Can't put a price on safety and better handling. I vote yes!
Towing in high winds, big rigs blowing by you on the road.....you'll be glad you did.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Can't put a price on safety and better handling. I vote yes!
Towing in high winds, big rigs blowing by you on the road.....you'll be glad you did.
Oh yes, good point. I never really thought I needed a sway control bar until I needed it. Again, with the Kiwi 17a, small trailer. Once while towing in the rain I hit a slick spot. The rear wheels of the TV went sideways. The trailer went bananas. I was pretty sure I was going to dump it. With the brake controller lever and steady pumping of the TV brakes I was able to get it back under control. Scared the pants off of me! I wonder how much harder that would have been to bring under control without the sway control bar.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:21 AM   #10
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I had a 2001 Pathfinder and a 19H (a little heavier) and the WD hitch was a must, especially when bikes, generator, 2 adults and 2 children and other equipment was factored in.

I did a couple of 500 miles trips over 5 years and pretty much killed the PF. I bought a F-150 and the difference is night and day.

Although load rated for 5000 lbs, I would say that the 4Runner and PF are marginal TV's. I never really got into any scary situations with the WD, however I seldom went over 55mph because I just did not feel comfortable when fully loaded. With the F-150 I barely notice it is back there.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:55 PM   #11
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With your 4Runner I think you need a WDH. I tow my X17Z with an '11 Toyota Tundra and the truck manual states "If towing less than 2500 lbs., sway control is needed and if towing greater than 5000 lbs. a WDH is recommended. We also own a 2004 4Runner but only use it to maneuver and park the trailer in our home.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:58 PM   #12
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I have a 19H and pulled it with a GMC Envoy. The WDH was absolutely necessary. I now have GMC 1500 slt to tow with. Still using the WDH but what a huge difference in the towing performance.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:34 PM   #13
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Yes. I had a 4Runner (great SUV!) and the suspension was built for comfort. The WDH levelled everything out and took the bounce out of the rear.

I towed a 4000+lb 19H.

Derek
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:09 PM   #14
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I should also say that I had a V8 4Runner. The max tow was 5000lbs or 7000lbs with a WDH. It's almost like Toyota was recommending the WDH.

Quote:
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Yes. I had a 4Runner (great SUV!) and the suspension was built for comfort. The WDH levelled everything out and took the bounce out of the rear.

I towed a 4000+lb 19H.

Derek
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:54 PM   #15
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My first RV was a 19' hybrid pulled behind a Ford Windstar. The dealer wouldn't let me pull off the lot with that combination (within the weight limits!) without a WD hitch. It adds safety and stability. Make the investment, you'll be happier in the end.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:20 AM   #16
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I use to pull an 18', 3500# ultra-lite trailer with a Ford Ranger "Edge" package, and didn't use a WDH or Sway Control. Yes, the truck did the job, but semi's passing me would scare the bejesus out of me. It was like they were sucking the trailer right into them. I say make the investment in a good WDH & Sway Bar system. The $250 - $500 investment will certainly make hauling easier and more enjoyable. It may even save your life!
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:27 AM   #17
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My major route in and out of my neighbourhood is the busiest section of highway in North America. Weight and sway and Brake equalizers are a must for the safety my family and myself. I can easily pull my x19h with the vehicle I have but I went for safety first! I had the highest end break pads put on my F150 (cost a small fortune) and it has been 20 years since I last pulled a trailer and it will calm my nerves knowing that my equipment is in tip top shape and safe as possible.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:24 PM   #18
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Have an X18D towing with a 2013 Taco V6. Essentially the same frame and power train, although mine is a real wheel drive only. Even with the four leaf rear springs, the trailer caused a lot of rear end sag, and corresponding front end lifting which takes a lot away from the steering. Put on a 8k Fastway (same as Equal-i-zer) and noticed a world of difference. Leveled the ride, stopped the rear end from bouncing, and tamed the sway from cross winds and semi's. Life's better with the hitch.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:22 PM   #19
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breealee,

My wife and I am currently in the second week of a two month journey with our x17z. We left our home in costal NC and are currently camping at Lake Powell AZ. Between San Antonio Tx and Carlsbad NM we were dealing with 40MPH winds. The Equalizer WDH with anti sway bars did their job beautifully even when the big rigs passed us. We're towing with a Ram 1500 4X4 with the 5.7 Hemi. My advice...get the WHD/Anti sway hitch.
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:39 AM   #20
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is weight distribution hitch needed?

2014 4Runner - X20E Hybrid
Using an Equal-i-Zer

The general answer is yes to your question.

Watch YouTube videos on how to attach whatever ones you are looking at as options and see which suits your style and comfort.

I have only used two kinds. The one listed that we have on our new trailer and the one on the in-laws with the breaker bar.

I like the Equal-i-zer for us.

Good luck and happy camping !
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